NEWSLETTER: Autumn 2015

March 01, 2015 posted in Food

Spice Appreciation Classes

Demand for our Spice Appreciation Classes and Spice Blending Workshops continues even after all these years, and all the 2015 dates for these are now available on the website or at the Rozelle store. All-day Saturday sessions, which comprise the Spice Appreciation Class followed by lunch and the Workshop, run from 10.30 until 3.30, and are scheduled only three times during the year, so you’d be well advised to book early if you’re interested in a total immersion in all things spicy

Italian Herbs or Italian Seasoning

Italian Herbs or Italian Seasoning … which one is right for your needs? The difference is the extra dimension to the Seasoning blend; paprika, tomato powder, salt, chilli and allspice (in addition to the Italian herb mix of basil, marjoram, oregano, parsley, thyme, sage and rosemary) give a greater depth of flavour, making it a more complete seasoning. That’s not to say that the wonderful combination of herbs in the Italian Herbs blend is not perfectly satisfying as an addition to a pasta sauce, soup or pizza. The choice is yours

What is Single Origin?

There are some terms that have begun to appear on the labels of products to give us, the consumers, extra information. One of these is single origin, often relating to huge consumption items such as coffee, but equally applicable to any other agricultural products. Suppose you have a bag of coffee beans that comes from a warehouse which buys in beans from Brazil, India and Indonesia before mixing them all together, roasting and packaging them … definitely not from one origin. But if all your coffee beans have come from Brazil, they can be termed single origin … they do not have to come from just one farm or even just one region, although in some cases a product can come from a single farm, as with our kaffir lime leaves and curry leaves. The term is occasionally applied to spices, although we have never chosen to use it. The label will often tell you; for instance, Safrron Iranian comes from the single origin of Iran, Saffron Kashmiri comes from the single origin of Kashmir. TGSEB (Tellicherry Garbled Special Extra Bold, to give them their full title) peppercorns are from the Tellicherry district of Southern India. Hungarian Sweet Paprika is obviously from Hungary. Australian peppercorns, Aleppo Pepper, and so on, are by definition single origin. By the way, on our website you can see the country of origin of every spice.

It is difficult to apply single origin status for Spanish paprika, however, as paprika is grown in countries such as Africa and South America and shipped to Spain for processing, from whence it is identified as Spanish paprika. It would also be unusual to find single origin Spanish saffron, as this spice is imported from Iran to boost Spain’s small domestic yield.

Autumn Box of Ideas

The new Autumn Box of Ideas is available now, at the usual $25.00 price, to give you some inspiration to widen your repertoire as the weather cools. With 32 Degrees Spice Mix, Butter Chicken, ground ginger, Thai Red Curry, and Panch Phora, you’ll find a bit of a curry theme running through, but not necessarily the type you’d find at your local take-away. Teaming dumplings with a creamy mild curry blurs the boundaries (no single origins here!) and overall warm tastiness is the winner.

What’s New at Herbie’s?

We’ve created a delicious, tasty Turkish Spice Mix, with herbs and spices iconic to that region: sumac, Aleppo pepper, mint, cumin, parsley, bay leaves, tomato powder. We cooked the famous eggplant dish, Imam Bayildi (the name comes from the story that the Imam fainted when he realized how much expensive olive oil his wife had used in the dish!) with a couple of teaspoons of the Turkish Spice, and it was indeed a delight. And speaking of delights, our Turkish Delights Spice Kit is unavailable at present whilst we re-work it to include the lovely new spice mix and some new recipes, and it will re-emerge as simply the Turkish Spice Kit (It seems that “Turkish Delights” confused some customers, who thought it was a kit for making the classic sweet treat, Turkish Delight.)

Herbie’s on a roll, and two new blends reflect growing interest in South America. Tempero Baiano (parsley, turmeric, nutmeg, oregano, pepper, chilli, salt) is a fantastic regional Brazilian seasoning for meats, and the Chimichurri Spice Mix is a tasty, garlicky, herby base that, mixed with water, vinegar and oil, becomes the famous chimichurri sauce for accompanying cooked meats. We have also used it as a rub for lamb or beef cooked on the barbecue, with delicious results.

  • Turkish Spice Mix – 25 grams – $ 4.40
  • Tempero Baiano – 25 grams – $ 4.75
  • Chimichurri Mix – 25 grams – $ 4.30

Moveable Feast

Herbie and long time friend Lyndey Milan took one 1961 convertible EK Holden named Edna around some of Australia’s most stunning food and wine regions. Voila, the TV series “Lyndey and Herbie’s Moveable Feast” on air on 7TWO Saturday afternoons at 2:30pm. Episode 2 goes to air 14th March when Lyndey and Herbie visit artisan producers in the Byron Bay region of New South Wales. Subsequent episodes will be aired depending on the station’s sports commitments.

Some Further News

We have become aware of customers having difficulty with purchases of Iranian Saffron from websites apart from ours. If the selling website processes payments using PayPal, this US-based company will ban the purchase on the grounds that the USA has trade embargoes on Iranian goods. Because the Herbie’s Spices website doesn’t use PayPal, it is not a problem if you purchase through our own website.

We’ve had some staff changes at Herbie’s. We wish our previous staff well in their new endeavours, and are happy to welcome Gretchen and Brigette to our team. You will find them warm and helpful, and our fabulous Herbie’s sales service will not vary.

Our jaws are dropping in line with the drop of the Australian dollar, as it affects what we have to pay for all those beautiful spices from all over the world. There will be no increase in the cost to you at this stage, but seeing the huge leaps in some prices from our suppliers, you’d better expect that, if the dollar doesn’t rise soon, we are going to need to pass these costs on to you at some time.

We have been stocking vanilla beans from Mexico since we opened in 1997, always sourced from the same supplier (single origin!). In 2014 climatic conditions were such that the beans are very small, however they are still full of flavour, and due to their size you now find three beans in each pack. For those looking for a high proportion of seeds to bean, you will probably choose the vanilla bean from Nuie, which has one plump and succulent bean per pack.

Happy Autumn Spicing

Herbie and Liz

Explore All
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Meal Ideas for Isolation

We thought that in these unprecedented times, it would be appropriate to share some handy meal ideas to ease the stress of isolation and potentially limited food sources. Having to self-isolate creates an opportunity to brush up your cooking skills and have some fun experimenting with some flavours you may not have tried before. Let’s face it, everyone can cook. Have you ever grilled
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Spices and Spice Blends for Vegetarian and Vegan Cooking

In this short video, Ian "Herbie" Hemphill talks about how Herbie's Spices, herbs and spice blends are all suitable for vegetarian and vegan cooking. A great spice blend for vegan meals is Aloo Gobi Masala. All ingredients are listed on the labels, so you know exactly what you are getting. For a wealth of information on spices, herbs and making your own spice blends,
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Herbie’s Newsletter Summer 2019 – 2020

We’re all in accord about single-use plastics. Having seen huge drifts of plastic in the pristine seas off the Indonesian islands, we know just how important it is to get rid of those shopping bags, plastic wraps and sandwich bags. When one gets emotional about bad plastics, it’s easy to begin to demonize all plastics, and perhaps it’s timely to repeat this message from our Newsletter of some years ago.

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Spices & More in South India Jan-Feb 2020

We invite you to join us, Herbie and Liz, as we return to our beloved India to take you to some places where many tourists don’t go! And some amazing places that you just can’t miss. This is designed as a holiday, not an endurance test, and we have made the itinerary a little more leisurely than some earlier tours, so that you arrive home refreshed and well. Be a part of our small group and join the fun!

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Herbie’s Newsletter Spring 2019

What kind of meal do you think of when you hear the word “curry”?  The origin of our English word is Kari, meaning a spiced sauce.  The English took the idea back home from the colonies, and the classic Madras curry – well-balanced and flavoursome - became a staple in the English household.  The French, meanwhile, had colonized the Pondicherry area on the south-eastern
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Newsletter Winter 2019

What is Single Origin? We see it emblazoned on tea, coffee, spices and other foodstuffs.  It’s pretty simple really.  If all your potatoes have been grown in the Hunter Valley, they are single origin from that region – they don’t all have to come from the same farm. If, say, a coffee blender buys beans from Africa and South America, and mixes them all
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Easter Spice Essentials

With Easter just around the corner, it’s time to think about the spices you’ll need for your Easter recipes. For all those sweet recipes such as cakes, biscuits and hot cross buns, cinnamon, allspice, cloves and cardamom are traditional, along with Mixed Spice. For extra fragrance and flavour, try using our Fragrant Sweet Spice Blend as an aromatic substitute. Easter is a great time
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Herbie’s Newsletter – Spring 2021

Home Made Pizza Like so many Australians, we have had plenty of lock-down time during winter.  Our fabulous local pizzeria closed for a time, and we had to make our own pizza – not so difficult, really.  Here’s a simple dough recipe: mix 400g white bread flour with 1½ teaspoons of dry yeast and 1 teaspoon Italian Herbs.  Dissolve ½ teaspoon of salt in
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Welcome to our New Website

The first thing you will notice is that this website looks quite different to the one you may be used to. In response to the many questions we have received from our customers over the years, we have built in many new features that will enhance your shopping experience. While navigating the site is intuitive, we've described some of the many new features here.
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Herbie’s Spices Newsletter – Winter 2021

Following through on our gradual revision of the Spice Kits, we’ve had a look at the Al Fresco kit.  At our place, outdoor meals often include big sharing platters, which enable those who are hungry to really dig in, and those with bird-like appetites to pick gently at morsels, without any embarrassment about how much is put on, or left on, the plate.  So we’ve
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Black Pepper Beef Recipe at Spice Village, Kumily, Kerala, India

Braised Black Pepper Beef, with Chef Manoj at Spice Village, Kumily, Kerala, India Serves 4-6 1kg beef tenderloin, trimmed Masala Marinade 1 tablespoon extra virgin coconut oil ½ cup grated fresh coconut 2 shallots, peeled and sliced 2 teaspoons coriander seeds 5 small dried red chillies, seeds removed and chopped 3 sprigs curry leaves 1 tablespoon crushed black pepper Braising Curry Sauce 1 tablespoon extra virgin coconut
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Herbie’s Spices Newsletter – Autumn 2021

We trust that you have all survived Australia’s quiet introduction to the new year. Isn’t it wonderful that, in times of trial and frustration, cooking, eating and sharing bring such consolation? For those of us separated from our loved ones by insurmountable obstacles, we can be encouraged by improving conditions this year.

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Herbie makes Avial (South Indian Vegetable Curry) in South India

Herbie loves being in South India, the food and the people. In this video he makes Avial (a South Indian Vegetable Curry). Making lightly spiced meals is one of life’s great pleasures, made all the simpler with our Herbie’s Spices all-natural spice blends.

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Herbie’s Newsletter Summer 2020-2021

A world-wide annus horribilis is drawing to a close, and all we want for Christmas is a better year ahead. For many, time spent in confinement has been a time for reflection, communicating with loved ones, and cooking up a storm.

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Herbie Makes a Curry in Kumily

In this video, following a short elephant ride, I have the audacity to show my Indian friends at Spice Village how I make my Saturday Curry!

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Herbie’s Newsletter Spring 2020

Rose Harrisa Mackerel Spring is a time always associated with flowers.  Cauliflowers, broccoli and broccolini, even cabbage and kale, are all flowers, and it occurred to us that one could make a culinary bouquet by adding rose harissa to these flowers.  We started the experiment with rose harissa sprinkled on cauliflower cheese, then progressed to rose harissa stir-fried with broccolini, and broccoli florets tossed with rose
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Why Herbie is Obsessed with Spices

During this time when many of us are isolated, either voluntarily or forced, I thought it would be a good idea to share some of the things I cover at the beginning of a Spice Appreciation Class. As classes are off now, here goes a virtual communication! People often ask why I am so obsessed with spices. This video explains where it all started,

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